Margaret Atwood once noted, “The Eskimo has fifty-two names for snow because it is so important to them; there ought to be as many for love.” I believe there is only one name for love because it is that important—it transcends all horrors, heals all wounds.  Love is conceivably the biggest paradox of the universe.  When we attempt to measure love with words or objects or money, we diminish its magnitude.  Yet when we share love, it magnifies.

I have spent most of my life trying to feel love, it turns out you actually have to feel anything to feel love.  In fact, I had lived without feeling love for so long; I thought I had to get it from others.  We are graced with a system of feelings that can be muted at times but are never really gone.  Love is always within us.

Many I meet cease to even dare talk about it—as if it were some cliché of yesterday that has worn out its time.  I’ve even noted books in stores by incredibly wise and celebrated authors that talk about “getting love” from other people or “finding love” from other people.

Yet I believe the only love you seek does not come from other people, it comes from within. There is only one true love, and it not only runs your heart, it runs the universe.  I believe many of us now share a world that has forgotten how to feel love.  In fact, love is rarely on the radar of most people I encounter—they only speak of their pain.  Ironically, this is the route to love.

The pureness of love is simply muddied by the overwhelming pain of our own self-hate.  We needn’t get it, or find it, we are it.  This is the real pot of gold at the end of the journey of self-discovery, which I personally believe is the only one we’re on.  I also believe that to know yourself, you will know a holy place that exists within yourself.  I suppose the trip we’re all on may be more aptly called a pilgrimage.

On this Valentine’s Day 2016, my wish for you is to know yourself and love yourself.  Here’s why.  If you don’t believe yourself to be lovable, it simply won’t matter if another person does. In this universe, self-hate trumps love from others. No amount of external validation or love from another will convince you that you are worthy of their love if you do not first believe it.

Love comes from being authentic, and staying the course of true self. If you love your partner, this is the best gift you can give them. Paradoxically, when you find the exquisite beauty of self-love, it won’t matter what anyone says. You will love yourself and other people regardless of their feelings for you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!